Oscar’s Progress in Obedience Training

A few weeks have passed since my last post and I think it’s time for an update on how Oscar’s training is going.  I’m happy to share that the last few classes have been great and that Oscar has shown lots of progress!  Oscar now knows that when we walk out onto the training floor it is time to WORK.  He sits next to me and, for the most part, follows my commands and actively participates in the class without being distracted by the other participants.

Here’s some of what we’ve been working on in and out of class:

  • Heel – Oscar starts by sitting to my left side, then starts walking at my command while matching my pace whether it is normal speed or “slow heel”.  We practice turns to change directions and halt (slow to stop and sit).
  • Sit/Stay – Oscar sits to my left side and stays in position while I step out in front to face him.  He keeps eye contact with me, but does not move until I “release” him (this is called an “exercise finish” – where you touch the dog and praise him, letting him know that he has done a good job!).
  • Down – Oscar lies down to my left side, and stays down while I move in front of him, only getting up when I “release” him.
  • Motivational “comes” – Oscar starts at heel sitting, I tell him to “wait” then walk out in front 5-6 feet.  He stays in sit position as I walk out and doesn’t move until I call him to come.  The trainers have us make a BIG DEAL out of praising the dogs as we call them to us.  Most dogs are very excited by this – they run and jump and play with their handler…but Oscar was so tired that while I made a big fuss to call him, jumping and cheering in a high pitched voice “OSCAR COME!!  OSCAR GOOD BOY!!  COME OSCAR…OSCAR, OSCAR, OSCAR!!”…Oscar just very slowly sauntered toward me with his bulldog swagger looking at me like…”Are you serious?  I’m so much cooler than you lady”.  Everybody had a good laugh at this. 

We received a few compliments and thumbs up from the trainers.  They have pointed out that Oscar is doing very well and has really improved since the first class.  I’m really happy to share this update in Oscar’s progress and look forward to our upcoming classes.  I think he has a good shot at passing the class! 

Here is a short clip of our Dairy Queen run to psych ourselves up on the way to class.

What can I say, ice cream pumps us up!

Meet Oscar’s Adorable Baby Cousin…Olivia!

Happy Wednesday!

I want to share that Oscar’s cute cousin Olivia has a blog too!  She looks so happy to be home with her family – including her big dog brother!  Yale and I visited with Olivia when she was a tiny pup and are very happy to see that she is so loved.

You can find and follow the little lady here:

http://oliviathebulldog.wordpress.com/

Stay warm folks – doggies too. 

Ashley

Oscar the Bulldog Throws an Adorable Puppy Tantrum

While I was visiting over the holidays, my neice and nephew asked over and over again to see pictures and video of Oscar. They call him Oscar the Boxcar! I wanted to share their all-time favorite Oscar video – of him throwing a temper tantrum.

They had two questions about this video:

1. Why is Oscar so MAD?
2. What is he saying?

I can’t say I have an answer for either of those questions, but here’s the video. What do you think?

January Fun On Frozen Lake Calhoun

It gets awfully cold here in Minnesota this time of year, but it doesn’t slow down Oscar the bulldog. We are working hard to embrace winter life. Last weekend we trekked out onto Lake Calhoun for some snow and ice play. Here are some photos from our afternoon!

frozencalhoun

It’s fun to chase!

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Taking off!

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You’re telling me there are fish down there?

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Well, let’s get those fish!

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He is watching the cross country skiers!

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Giving us his best bulldog smile.

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Running like a crazy man.

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Retrieving his toy.

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Making snow bullies.

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Walking out toward the middle of the lake.

Oscar Learns Hockey

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Exploring the new ice rink at a park by his house.

Well guys,

Oscar here.  G-pa stopped in again today.  He is so quiet.  He must think all I do is sleep.  He doesn’t say a word.  He just unlocks the door, and of course that wakes me up, and takes off his shoes and jacket and puts that interesting bag of stuff down.  Then he comes over to the crate and opens the door.  I know he can see me watching his every move.  He still doesn’t say anything, but of course I know it’s him.  I do have a good nose even though they say I don’t.

 Well after a few minutes of me wagging my butt telling him I am happy to see him then he starts talking real soft and quiet.

Then I get a drink cause I am so thirsty.  Then we just kind of cuddle and pet for a while and usually play rub the belly.  I used to try to bite his feet when I am on my back, but G-pa doesn’t let me do that anymore.  He just stops and ignores me and that drives me nuts, so lately I have stopped the biting business.

 After about 10-15 minutes he says, “Let’s go for a walk”.  I wait by the door while he gets ready and remembers to bring one of those bags and my leash and out we go.

 Today that nice UPS man was waiting for me at the door.  He is so nice.  No packages for me today but he does pet me.  I don’t jump up on him either and that seems to go over big with G-pa.

 We headed over to the park and the ice rink.  I did my duties on the way over.  Today the most exciting thing happened at the rink. The boys were there playing hockey.  They let me come on the hockey rink and before you know it I was getting the puck passed to me.  Then one of the boys shot it all the way down in the far corner – I took off —man that ice is slippery. Well I beat everyone to the puck, but I went crashing into the boards…wow what a surprise that was.  But I got even with them cause I picked up the puck and took off with it.  Nobody could catch me.  And they left the door open and away I went…but I stopped up by the warming house. Then G-pa lured me back with treats.  I didn’t want to give that puck back…but I did.  Man is that hockey stuff fun.  Those big sticks they carry are a little scary though.

 Back home for a bit of play with my new squeaky toy that I already bit the squeak out of.  Then we went for another walk over to the sledding park.  We also checked out the nice pavilion that looks like it would be a great spot for a picnic when the weather turns nice again…it will won’t it?

Pretty great day, I seem to be feeling better and better.  Maybe I can go see my buddies at daycare soon.

 Love,

 Oscar (Who told G-Pa what to write.)

*G-Pa has been coming to spend time with O daily.  They go on big walks and visit people and have a blast together.  Our great friend Lou has migrated south for the rest of winter…FAR south to New Zealand.  We will miss Lou – but so great for Oscar to have a daytime buddy in G-Pa.  We are all lucky.  Thank you, G-Pa!

Oscar’s Snow Day

Time to come inside!  Getting a lift from Yale.

Time to come inside.  Getting a lift from Yale.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Oscar experienced his first real snowfall this weekend.  He is loving it!  He wants to be outside enjoying it as much as he can.  Yale had to carry him in this morning after playing hard with the neighbor dog for hours.  He enjoys chasing the tennis ball and digging in the snow to find and retrieve it.  He also just likes to run and jump and make that snow fly.

Walking in a winter wonderland.

After a full morning enjoying the new snow, Oscar is curled up warm as toast and snoring away.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…

Summer is Here

Summer in Minnesota is in full-force.  This weekend was busy.  We took an early morning walk around the neighborhood and down to the lake.  Oscar is getting better about keeping up during walks.  There are still struggles, but Oscar is heading in the right direction.  He loves to be outside!

Oscar made a friend at Lake Harriet.  His name is Wilson and he’s a 10-year-old Golden Retriever.  They played and chased.  Wilson is a swimmer and he almost jumped into the lake.  At the last moment, his mom yelled “No fishing, Wilson!” and he stopped just short of jumping.  I was relieved because if Oscar had jumped in too I probably would have needed to play lifeguard and fish him out of the water.   The little man would probably sink.  I was glad to not have to jump in the lake so early.  :)

Later in the morning, we stopped for coffee and pastries just around the corner at the Linden Hills Farmer’s Market.  They were freshly baked at 3 am that morning by Patisserie 46.  Chocolate for breakfast is always a good idea, right?

We were driving up Xerxes when I asked Yale, “Hey, wanna check out hunt & gather?”.  He agreed and I hit the brakes.  Isn’t it wonderful when you have a full day to do whatever you want and can just “hit the brakes” and go do it?  I had been wanting to go there for awhile and I’m so glad we finally did.  It was fun to roam through all of the rooms and dig through antiques.  I could spend hours and hours exploring there.  It’s one of the coolest places.

Music in the Park

This week the temperatures were refreshingly cooler in Minneapolis and so the little heat sensitive bulldog was able to be outside a lot more.  We (Yale, Lou, and I) walked to the Lake Harret band shell for Music in the Park.  It was a beautiful evening to be out at the lake.  Music was provided by the South High Community Band and Jazz Band.

After music we went to Convention Grill for a hot fudge sundae.  We ordered the SMALL sundae and our waitress brought us THIS (we couldn’t finish!) :

Forget Oscar…somebody had better take ME for a walk.

Staging a Sit-In

It’s so hard for him to leave one of his favorite places.  Lisa from Heartfelt sent this picture from one of their visits.  Oscar loves Heartfelt.  Here is Lou practically dragging the little man out.  Sometimes it’s the only way to remove him from the premises!